How to Destroy Yourself Part 1

It just dawned on me that my current WordPress plan is about to expire. That does not really mean so much as a puff of rat flatulence to the world at large, but for me I think it means my already dwindling audience will dwindle even further. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe I will no longer be able to receive donations either whilst using the free version of WordPress. Again, this doesn’t really amount to a fraction of an atom’s quiver on the webz’s Richter scale, but it will give me even less of an incentive to spew my garbled thought processes unto this “blog” for your amusement. Not that I’ve really received a single donation anyways during the past year, but then again I can’t complain, given the irrelevant content I’ve provided the WordPress community. What I’m getting at here folks, is that Breakaway’s days are numbered. So unless any one of the half a dozen or so kind souls that read this can find it in his or her (or they, is that PC?) heart to dig deep into those pockets and help out one of society’s downtrodden, then I’ll most likely jump this flaming pile of excrement and leave it for the vultures. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up yet, though! I would like to part with some words of wisdom- well maybe not wisdom so much as common sense.

Mr. Mackey was onto something with his simplistic outlook on psychoactive substances; drugs, as it turns out are in fact bad, mmkay? Paradoxically, drugs are the most wonderful experience allowed by the limits of human pleasure. But that’s what makes them so bad- you get it!? What I’m saying is that this portal to Nirvana is so amazing that it comes at a price. Remember that anti-drug campaign in the late 80’s/early nineties with the frying pan? The sequel to the original “this is your brain on drugs” schtick was a bit more comprehensive, and we’ll say intense. Part two featured a girl with the same opening lines, but this time…. oh Nelly, does she rattle off some things and what happens to them on drugs. She enthusiastically starts smashing all manor of plates, dishes, and other things within her reach, and well… I can’t really do it justice, check it out, and take a stroll down memory lane- or take heed of this time capsule sent from an archaic age, when land lines ruled telecommunications, and people would speak to each other at the dinner table: https://youtu.be/dAHoxaphbEs

Delightfully well done, yes? However, this young lady’s performance was so completely over the top crazy, that it really distracts from the underlying message that government officials were futilely trying to pump into the skulls of our youth of America. That message is that drugs- and I like how she specifically names heroin in this one, I can’t think of a more suitable substance- really do take everything from you. Every one of those things she angrily screams to the audience will eventually be taken from you. Foremost, when you are on a good dose of H, your ability to do anything aside from nod off into a coma is severely handicapped. Have you ever had a conversation with someone on H? It’s about as gratifying as masterbating to a JCPenney’s full-page advertisement in the Sunday paper- frustrating to say the least. So yeah the whole brain-on-heroin-being-mush-frying-pan analogy rings completely true in my eyes, I’ve experienced it both first and second hand. Check.

What else does she list- money? If that shit grew on trees, and everyone could just walk around all fucked up on H and whatever else they so desired, well then none of this shit would be a problem now would it? But because life, and the universe in general operates on the principal of tradeoffs, making heroin is a somewhat complex process that not everyone can do and the people that can do it charge a handsome price for their service. Adding to the monetary value of this substance the extreme demand held by this product, and the fact that it is considered contraband by 99% of the world’s government entities- and you’ve got yourself a drug that is thankfully somewhat hard to come by for the average Joe or Jane. Can you imagine if that shit was like caffeine, and everybody and their mother was hooked on the horse…? Complete and utter pandemonium, I say.

I think during this striking young woman’s performance – admit it, her fervent passion for expressing her thoughts through violence with kitchen utensils was arousing on a level you’ve never considered until now- she blurts out friends and family or some shit. This is one of the more tragic prices paid to have heroin as a companion. Because of the previously mentioned debilitating financial situation many find themselves in because of this demon, relationships will assuredly be tested, strained, and eventually broken given enough time. There comes a point in every junkie’s existence that they will presented with that metaphorical fork in the road with a loved one on one side, and the big H, or whatever on the other. Unless the addict gets help, the demon will make the choice for the junkie, putting a gun to the addict’s temple, and saying, “You’re coming with me, buddy, I’m the only thing in your life that matters now!” Sad but true.

The last major conquest left before one’s addiction is the addict’s self-respect. Having already been beaten into submission financially and taking precedence above all other interpersonal relationships, there really is no other purpose to exist other than to act as a vessel for consuming the drug. When this milestone occurs, there is nothing that the addict would not do- no actions too shameful- to acquire the drug. You can kiss self respect goodbye when this happens.

Sure, I get to escape into a state of bliss when it suits me, but it has taken so much from me in exchange. To the outsider, it looks completely insane. Even as I write this, it’s painfully obvious how selfish and idiotic I’ve become. Hopefully someone in need finds these words and decides to take back his or her life.

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Optimizing my Freedom

So as many addicts do, I have been fighting sobriety tooth and nail at great length much to everyone’s bewilderment. I know there are like a billion articles on the benefits of sobriety, and they serve a purpose for those who wish live that type of normal lifestyle. By any logical sentiment, I cannot argue against living a clean, psychoactive substance-free lifestyle. That is the natural way to travel this journey- which is inherently difficult without adding layers of complexity that most reasonable people deem unnecessary. Many even assign the notion of immorality to the use of mind altering substances. Honestly, I can’t fault those who think that way because for years in the US we’ve been propagandized to adhere to that line of thinking. Also, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a host of addicts out there who wouldn’t hesitate to step on your well-being to get their next fix. I would argue that there are just as many addicts that respect others and maintain a code of morality such that they don’t try to make their addiction anyone else’s problem. Conversely, I think it’s safe to say that there is a proportionally similar size of the population who do not use any substances, who would just as soon disregard others’ rights to benefit themselves. I have witnessed such actions time and time again throughout my career supporting that case by observing ass-kissers and pyschopaths excel in the workplace at the expense of others. That’s people doing what they do, unfortunately; often we don’t need any outside motivation other than those incentives which manifest naturally to inflict damage on one another.

My purpose here isn’t to justify the use of drugs, but to explain one facet of the addict’s rationale. What am I, some sort of an expert? You might say that, rabbit, you might.

First of all, I just don’t like being told what to do. Have I sacrificed nearly all of my financial success to live by that principle? Yes… but what is money anyways? A carrot that is dangled before us in portion-controlled doses, ultimately used by those in power to manipulate us peons into building their legacy while we act as an expendable resource? I am a pretty accommodating dude, willing to help my fellow man (and even woman) to a reasonable extent within my capabilities; but when other humans are deliberately trying to manipulate my values, or believe they “own” me because of some wack precedent established with no input nor agreement from me, that’s where I start to fall out of line. Maybe some person or group of people a thousand miles away from me think I shouldn’t be allowed to poison myself in a very specific way- yet allow other arguably worse and more socially problematic methods to plague society- but I never agreed to those ludicrous conditions. I think it unjust that one would charge other humans with enforcing their beliefs and declare that they have imaginary powers over those who disagree with their will. What makes those powers “official”? Can I form a gang and start making declarations of law pertaining to personal life decisions of all the people living within the abstract borders of a geographical area? Does anyone else understand how absolutely fucking asinine that sounds!?

Yes, I know that’s an over-simplification of the issue, but at its core, that is the heart of the issue, and why I oppose the precedent that’s been status quo for too long. One person can’t make a change when the argument is for getting high; but when the argument is to quit wasting our nation’s pooled taxes on imprisoning a large portion of the population who made a choice not in adherence with “officially prescribed” bullshit guidelines- then that argument starts to make sense.

Then again I could just be some asshole trying to justify his own use.

Another Day… No Dollar Though

That’s right, another day of existence is added to the growing collection of days which will be forgotten and meaningless. I have nearly lost my “Mojo”, or if it isn’t gone already, it’s on life support in the ICU, being cared for by Dr. Kevorkian. I’m having a hard time seeing the glass as being half full lately, because I’m seriously struggling with doing anything more than existing. I have been on/off with maintaining sobriety- which considering my circumstances, is pretty fucking commendable, I’d say. To elaborate, my significant other has kinda picked up one of my nasty habits, and fucking took off with it on her own, at a speed that has more or less surpassed my usage. So there’s one thing that I can etch into my legacy’s stone tablet of significant life accomplishments: pusher of addictive and dangerous substances, and sharer of misery. My point is that it’s damn near impossible to quit anything addictive, if the person you’re living with has the same habit. So I suppose it’s the circle of life, or poetic justice, or fucking whatever that I would afflict that curse on a loved one, only to have it come back and gingerly goose me while I’m trying to get my ish together! If I had a nickel for every time karma shot me with its painfully righteous darts, I’d still only have about a half dozen nickels. Yeah, I’m not a bad guy who goes around screwing people over, but when I fuck somebody without the lube, it will most assuredly come back later to fuck me unmercifully, harder, and with even less lube.

All metaphorical sex acts aside, I am fighting with the vigor comparable to Ben Stein’s voice to get my life back on track. Sure there isn’t much enthusiasm there, but I am droning through at a flat, continuous pace, slowly and painfully making it through the day and looking back to say “at least I didn’t off myself”. For some that may not seem worth writing in a blog that few will even read, but these days I try to celebrate even the most pitiful of deeds (or ‘non-deeds’ as it were), because what else do I really have?

I would like to believe that my worst years are behind me- but honestly I would probably being doing myself a disservice, as they could be much worse. I’m kind of hoping to at least keep this streak sub-mediocrity, anti-accomplishment behavior going just a bit longer. As long as nobody expects anything of me, I will not disappoint!

Commitment Issues

I will resume that whole developmental psychology thing eventually- it’s just I’ve been coping with some personal problems that have really wreaked havoc on my relationships, career as an IT professional, my educational goals, my reputation, my health, my looks, my marriage, and last but certainly not least- my finances. I wake up every morning, not recognizing the person in the mirror- if I can even bring myself to see my reflection. My eyes are sunken, my complexion muddled. If ever there was a poster child for the “drugs are bad, mmm’kay” campaign, I could be a contender, I’m sure. Perhaps I haven’t hit the absolute rock bottom, but I’ve come within a stone’s throw of it, no doubt. I’m on the cusp of losing everything, but I am fortunate enough to have people in my life who care enough to fucking slap me in the face enough so that I can look up and meet my own gaze in the mirror long enough to see how far I’ve fallen.

Some say addiction is a disease. I’m on the fence about that one, since this is a disease I welcomed into my life with open arms and with sound cognitive ability. It wasn’t too long however, that it took over my willpower and demanded I make it the one and only relationship I would sacrifice all others for. Of that aspect of addiction, I do see how it is a disease. I’ve heard that free will in general is an illusion that everyone mistakenly views as their’s to control. Perhaps I’ll explore that topic further another time, but this much is true for everyone whether they’d admit it or not: we are all slaves to our vices. Whether that be booze, gambling, running, self-mutilation, gluttony, starvation, plastic surgery, tattoos, or what have you. Most people are haunted by an insatiable need for something. Whether that something would benefit us or destroy us seems to me to be a roll of the dice. I, like many others, was and still am drawn to that artificial bliss on tap. Instant relief from all my worries, and the ultimate cheat code for nearly any dilemna, the right combination of hardcore drugs will get anyone hooked. I believe that’s why the US has taken the antiquated- yet effective on a very basic level- stance on treating these psychoactive substances.

Substances like the ones that I’ve allowed to poison my mind alter the brain in such a way that it will eventually take priority above all else. Those drugs that have a well deserved stigma associated with them. While under its influence, you will make any excuse or tell any lie to make sure that shit finds a way into your bloodstream. To a non-addict, the lengths to which an addict will go seem absurd, selfish, even downright sadistically evil; but for the addict, those actions become second nature, and are just par for the course of a lifestyle that typically means living fast and dying young. Some are fortunate enough to escape its iron grip; many are not, and struggle for years like a fly in the web, only to eventually get consumed by a predator with no face, no body, no weapons, and no weaknesses.

I’ve seen documentaries on the subject, and one concept sticks out in my memory which makes perfect sense (apologies,I can’t recall specifics for a citation). Doing drugs like opiates, meth, coke, or MDMA for long periods of time eventually rewires the brain so that acquisition of the drug is equally, if not more important than other survival instincts. Over time, getting your fix becomes more important than material possessions, money, shelter, relationships, and even food. I’ve encountered several different women who ended up losing their children to drugs, yet that loss was not their ‘rock bottom’. They continued to use, despite losing what many mothers consider to be their most precious gift in life. That should speak volumes as to how insidious this trap can be. My wife- who has stuck with me through the worst challenges I’ve had in life so far- put it brilliantly by saying “you didn’t make that choice, the drugs chose for you“.

Of course all of this is subjective. There are those who say addicts chose their lifestyle, and they have no one to blame but themselves for their problems. To a certain extent that is true. I would think it inconceivable (like Vizzini) to throw away the things I hold dearest to me… had you asked me a year ago. Now I find it impossible to live for anything else besides my next fix. It has consumed my life.

I started writing this like a week ago, but like everything else in my life, it’s sat and festered with nothing to show for it. I guess I’ll post this now, I don’t even remember what my original point was…

The Foundation

So at the risk of sounding like a complete buffoon- I’m already resigned to being a partial buffoon- I will ponder what can be scavenged from Erik Erikson’s theories on developmental Psychology, and compare them to my own childhood experiences. Hopefully, though with some degree of skepticism, I can analyze the events of my life and come to some sort of understanding of how I came into my current predicament, so maybe I can attempt to pick up the pieces of this fucking disaster that my life has become. I mean, for Christ’s sake, a year ago I probably would’ve been quick to succumb to the folly of moral judgement upon the person I am today. What am I today? I’ll get around to that, but if I were to throw a label on me, I think most people understand what a junkie is right? You remember that commercial, nobody ever says I wanna be a junkie when I grow up? I still haven’t met anyone who contradicts that paradigm, so kudos to you, 80’s anti drug campaign, you hit the nail on the head. Too bad the actual policy has been a dismal failure- I don’t mention that often enough in this blog, do I?

So I guess that Erikson thought the first stage of development for infants revolved around two outcomes based on his conflict model which he used throughout his whole developmental roadmap, so to speak. The first challenge encountered is trust vs. mistrust, which, in my opinion, is irrelevant in my case. I don’t remember, but I’m pretty sure I was nurtured enough by my mom. I won’t go into to much detail, since well, I was a fuckin baby- nothing exciting going on there. You all have heard those stories about fucking neglected babies growing up with serious issues integrating into society. Shit, maybe some of you are living through that kind of existence right now- in which case, you can discuss that with your therapist, or continue your successful career as a high-functioning, corporate executive psychopath in upper management. You may never experience love, but you have the ability to completely destroy other people’s lives, without those pesky emotions like guilt or empathy to weigh you down.

I don’t know how much truth rings in Erikson’s developmental psychology model, but he believed that if at any of the stages of development, there is an outcome which results in, well, I’ll use the word failure to overcome that stage’s challenge, there is a corresponding virtue which is not developed. In the first stage, for example, the virtue of hope is carried on throughout life if you were coddled enough as baby.

To that I say…. mehhh. Maybe, maybe not. There is definitely some situations where this has proven to be true, and it seems to fit with most people’s lives. I welcome any opinions on Erickson’s model of development. Please comment and share your thoughts and experiences. No judgements here on my end, just curiosity. Thanks for reading, I’ll probably explore this topic further in coming posts.

You’re doing it all Wrong

I’ve been doing this blog thing for all but a few months now, and I’ve been touched by a brief moment of self-awareness which so rarely finds me these days. You know, that kind of perspective you gain on yourself when you realize Yeah, I am going on a drive which doesn’t require me to get out of the car, and most likely nobody will see me. I should probably put some pants on anyways. How embarrassing! I’ve been driving without pants on this whole time- figuratively and literally.

I kinda jumped into this thing like pompous windbag, belching my problems into the ether, as if the ether wasn’t already rife with problems. As superficially shitty of a person I seem to be, I truly don’t want to add to the endless litany of voices screaming ‘woe is me’ unto deaf ears- unable to hear, with the exception of their own plight.

Before one can empathize with ‘woe is anyone besides oneself’ one must understand his or her neighbor’s thoughts, feelings, motivations, and fears. After those have been identified, we can start doing a side by side comparison to see how it checks out with our own experiences- a woe-meter, if you will. Understanding your neighbor’s woes, and running them through the woe-meter while considering their circumstances, guaged against your own, will either result in achieving empathy. Then you get to decide whether their woes are either, like, WOAH, or more like NO. Is this all a bunch of bullshit I’ve concocted on the spot? Why don’t you figure that out for yourself, you seem to be a responsible individual.

What I’m getting at is I’m going to start telling my story in this blog, and bring the woe level down to a dull roar. Also, as an added bonus, I will try… yes, try really hard to be a little more active in the WordPress community in general. Does anyone care? Probably not, but I know I’ll be getting my 8 hours of sleep at night. My story will be accurate from my viewpoint, but names will be changed to protect the innocent- but more so the guilty. I’ll try to keep things interesting but relatable. Feel free to throw forth your mighty bolts of judgement from yon ivory towers of cowardly fortitude. My shield of self-loathing +3 renders me all but impervious to such simple rhetoric. But be warned! This place reeks of indifference to all but the most complimentary praise and admiration.

NOTE All the images/artwork on BreakAway are original and produced by me. Consider it all Copywriten as of 2018. If you want to use any material, just ask, I will probably say yes.

Putting it Back Together

Jesus Christ, what a mess.

I’m on day four (?) of sobriety, and I forgot how miserable this is. Yeah, there are things that can distract me for a few minutes- sex, TV, video games, food; but it passes so quickly. Then I’m left with myself again. It is so much easier to get that needle in my vein and just push that magical substance up my brain and experience happiness in the blink of an eye. It’s so much easier than working for it. Judge me if you want, but if you’ve had a taste of it, then you know what I’m talking about. I think that I’m just like anyone else, I just want to be happy. Getting high makes me happy. The hardest part about sobriety is I will never forget what that feels like. I can never “untaste” that feeling. As long as I’m alive, it’s always going to be screaming at me, trying to pull me back towards it’s grip. I would do anything just to feel it one more time, but I can’t. The state says I can’t, my wife says I can’t, my family says I can’t, and without words, or even any willful sentiment, my daughter says I can’t. That’s the hardest one. I have let my daughter down for so long because I’ve been so selfish. I’ve been slowly committing suicide (so I’ve been told) with these needles, and putting myself closer to the grave just so I can experience happiness forbidden by logic. It doesn’t make sense to any rational person- why the fuck would you shove a disgusting needle in your arm? Are you trying to kill yourself? Don’t you want to live to see tomorrow?

Nobody understands unless you’ve done it, so if nothing else, just know that ignorance is bliss. I guess you could take that several different ways in this context. This is so hard, but I’m doing it for my daughter. My life has all but fallen apart, so I guess it’s time to stop fucking around and fix this mess I’ve created.